Published: 28/03/2014
ISBN: 9781783062744
Format: Paperback

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Shadows of the Heartland
by Ross Daniel Baker

Three kings, one throne and a civil war that will rip the country apart....

Focusing on an overlooked period of English history, this historical fiction follows the kings who transformed the kingdom of Mercia in the mid-8th century...

King Æthelbald has ruled the kingdom of Mercia for forty years and is intent in uniting the whole of Britain under one rule. But his power is waning and there is discontent among his council of nobles at the stability of Mercia’s future.

A conspirator, Torthred, plots against Beornræd, a popular and loyal servant of King Æthelbald. Though a dangerous figure, Beornræd is plagued by fearful recurring dreams in which a masked killer stalks him. This instability results in him being exiled by the king, but Beornræd knows Torthred is to blame and seeks revenge upon him and his fellow conspirators.

One of the nobles to escape Beornræd’s murderous intentions is Offa, cousin to Æthelbald, and the likely heir to the Mercian throne. He takes refuge in the fenlands and gathers a small band of faithful men about him as he prepares to claim the crown by unleashing a weapon of fear; the masked figure Beornræd sees in his darkest, most fearful dreams. The outcome of this war will affect not just Mercia’s future, but also that of all of Britain.

A gripping historical novel with a dark edge, Ross Daniel Baker’s retelling of this story will draw you into the fear and uncertainty experienced by the people living in those chaotic and unsettling times.

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